Saturday, June 24, 2017

5 tips to fall asleep fast for the night owl reader

One of the most popular traits that make night owl readers night owls is that they find it difficult to fall asleep at night. In fact, some pick up the habit of reading in bed simply as a way to lure themselves to a nap.
How to sleep instantly
How to sleep instantly and peacefully after the bedtime read (Source: Wiki )

To some, this is natural and doesn’t affect their life in any major way. They simply have a natural biological clock that keeps them more alert, energetic and productive when the sun’s down. However, many others become night owls because they can’t get themselves to doze off at night, despite feeling extremely sleepy and tired. They toss and turn, and won’t sleep until after several hours in bed. As a result, they wake up the next day feeling drowsy and depressed. How to drowse off instantly as you lie down in bed? Here’s 5 tips from a night owl who has learned the hard way how to fall asleep 30 seconds after my eyes leave the Kindle.

1. Don’t eat too late

We tend to feel sleepy after we eat, but having too big a meal before going to bed can upset your stomach, preventing you from falling asleep peacefully. In addition, eating right before bedtime has been linked to poor sleep quality. This is because when you lie down after eating, the stomach continues to work and produces acids, which, especially if you have GERD, reflux back up, triggering reactions that wake you up. If you’re halfway through the dreaming phase, your memory of the dreams are more vivid, and it would be easier to recall the disturbing ones. Thus, my fellow night owls, make sure you enjoy your meal at least 2 hours before crashing to bed. It’ll be a lot easier to doze off with a calm, settled stomach!

2. Turn the ceiling lights off

Reading in a warm shade of light
Reading in a warm shade of light before bedtime can help you sleep better (Source: Pexels)

The darker the environment, the easier it is for you to fall asleep. Most LED and fluorescent ceiling lights emit strong light with short wavelengths (blue light), which is similar to daylight. While being of great helpfulness during the day (boosting alertness and elevating your mood), this kind of light can cause major problems to your sleep at night. With strong intensity, it inhibits norepinephrine. As a result, the brain fails to make the melatonin or the sleep hormone. This makes us find it difficult to sleep. In a study on the effects of environment light during sleep on the autonomic functions of heart rate and breathing, scientists had the participants sleep in two different environments: one completely dark, and the other lit at 1,000lx with fluorescent light (typical of a ceiling light). The results indicate that sleeping in the light potentially causes sleep-disordered breathing right from the onset of your nap. Therefore, in order to fall asleep faster and sounder, it is important that your bedroom is dark. An hour or two before you go to bed, draw the curtains to prevent light from outside, and turn off your ceiling lights. If you want some light for reading or other activities before and during bedtime, avoid blue light and pick the lamps with pale amber shades and are dimmable. A low intensity level and a warm, pleasant color temperature will have more positive effects on your sleep.

3. Choose your book carefully

Now for the night time readers like me, who have a reading ritual before bedtime. This tip is based on my personal experience. I tend to categorize my books not only by topics, but also by the best time to read them during the day or the week, or the time of the month. For example, I personally won’t pick on books about loss and sadness during my PMS - when I know I’m more sensitive and it’s easier to feel blue and weep. Anyway, for the evening, I avoid “difficult” books - the ones that need a lot of analysis to be understood, and the one with more than 5 difficult words on a page. I read books that are “light” in language and content. They could be fiction or non-fiction, but they should not require my brain to work too hard. My favorites are delightful short stories - they are easy to read and understand, I can finish them fast without the lingering question about what is happening in the next chapters. Easy, sweet stories help me to fall asleep anticipating a lovely dream.

4. Turn off your electronic devices

Most electronic devices emit blue light
Most electronic devices emit blue light which can disturb your sleep hormones (Source: JBSA)

As for electronic devices, it is advised that you do not use them within one hour before you sleep. A reason is that electronic devices emit blue light, which as mentioned earlier, increases the release of cortisol in the brain, making us more alert. In addition, the use of them also triggers anxiety or the fear of missing out, which prevents you from settling down for a long nap. The anxiety makes you keep checking your Facebook or Twitter until you’re too tired, which is usually several hours after your scheduled sleeping time. If you are a night owl reader and love to enjoy your bookly adventures at night, use a small book light instead of a big lamp. The right book light for reading in bed produces a soft glow of amber, which has longer wavelengths and are less likely to flicker than blue light, thus easier on the eye and on your sleep. If you read on an ereader, set the device to the lowest brightness level possible.

5. The 478 Breathing Technique

As you apply all of the above and still find yourself tossing and turning in bed, try this final resort that has been known widely among yogis.
  • Place the tip of your tongue on your alveolar ridge. Keep it there.
  • Take a deep breath, and then breathe out heavily through your mouth.
  • Close your mouth and inhale through the nose in four seconds.
  • Hold your breath and count to seven. Exhale while counting to eight.
  • Repeat the cycle several times, and you will fall asleep before you realize it.
I wish you a good read, and a good sleep. Namaste!


Anitya is a full-time nooblogger from Hooked To Books, a blog dedicated to book and reading gadget reviews. She aspires to make the reading time the highlight of the day for everyone by sharing her reading tips, introducing interesting books, and reviewing gadgets that provide comfort and enhance reading efficiency. You can find her on Twitter, and Facebook. Check out her latest article here.

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